This year’s college-going students have studied, sacrificed, and stayed the course, only to be met with a pandemic that has made the 2020 college application process a million times more confusing.

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Even before the pandemic, our nation’s teenagers, particularly first-generation and limited-income students of color, faced a series of roadblocks on their way to college. Today, many first-generation students are pushing forward and towards the upcoming college application deadlines despite the lack of reliable computers, timely financial aid advice, or consistent mental health counseling to navigate the pandemic’s stressors.

Before COVID-19, many high schoolers had plans to celebrate birthdays, family…


Well, if you’re a high school senior, it depends on where you want to go for college and the picture your college application paints about you.

Do not panic.

Relax.

Breathe.

Yes. It is okay to be curious about your SAT score. Is it below-average, average, good, or outstanding?

No. It is not okay to doubt whether you are smart enough, talented enough, capable enough, or valuable because of your SAT score.

YOU are not rateable.

The College Board — the organization that administers the SAT — or any college or scholarship organization can never, ever rate your worthiness.

However…


Write your way to success.

Last week, we explored where to find scholarship money. This week, let’s get ready to write the essays that will help you win!

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Figure out what their question is — and then answer it:

Organizations that give scholarship money are usually focused on more than just giving away money, so when working on your essays for a scholarship application, ask yourself: what problem is this organization trying to solve? For example, some organizations want to increase the number of students of color who pursue careers in science, math, technology, or international affairs. …


It’s time to get your 2020 scholarship search journey started immediately.

The clock is ticking. Have you kicked off your scholarship search? If so, how has your search been so far?! Not good? Don’t worry. I wrote a few tips to help you get started.

I self-published my first book two months ago — You Can Afford College: Getting Money For You College Dreams. I wrote the book because so many students from limited-income and middle-class backgrounds do the hard work of getting into college but face many challenges covering the attending cost.

Dr. LaNysha Adams, a Gates Scholar-Alum and…


Why it’s okay for parents to admit they need hope and help with this year’s college application process.

COVID-19 has robbed us of our loved ones, jobs, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Our nation’s teenagers have had their hearts broken while you, as parents, do your best to hold back your worry that your child’s college-going dreams might be ruined. Suppose you have anxiety about your teen’s future. How are you finding encouragement during the pain, uncertainty, and fear amid coronavirus? …


How many times have you asked yourself: “What am I meant to do in life?” For me, I’ve asked that questions at least 20 times before my 25th birthday.

Our parents, friends, and the society around us have an opinion about who we should become and what we should do with our lives. If you plan to live a life that someone else has planned for you, please stop reading. The rest of this article is for those who reject the belief that living someone else’s life is better than living our own.

Last week, I wrote a few tips…


In my mid-twenties, I walked away from a traditional money-making career path in consulting to become an educator. Many of my closest friends cautioned me that my decision to become an educator would be signing up for a life of poverty. However, I was willing to do so if it meant improving the life outcomes of overlooked students.

Before leaving the consulting company, I spent months figuring out: “What am I meant to do in life?” …


The COVID-19 pandemic has offered many of us the opportunity to reflect on our lives and, possibly, start making plans to change them. It can be both exciting and somewhat scary to ask yourself: “What should I do with my life?”

As you take steps towards the life that you are envisioning for yourself, you may ask: “Do I need to go to college or graduate school to be successful?”

The short answer is: “it depends.” Some of us know people and maybe even ourselves who didn’t get a traditional college degree but have very successful careers and lives.

We…


As college advisors, you play a critical role in helping students and families to understand the importance of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (also known as the FAFSA) as soon as possible. The FAFSA provides more than $120 billion in grant, work-study, and loan funds each year to help pay for college or career school.

In addition to the FAFSA, you are also in a position to encourage and guide students to complete various scholarship applications from foundations and other organizations. For example, I had no idea about the Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship until a…


As a first-generation college student, I could not have navigated the college-going process on my own. Fortunately, I had mentors to help me find answers to the things that confused me about finding money for college.

Whether you’re a mentor at a local Boys & Girls Club or serve as a mentor for a younger family member, I encourage you to remember that you may be the first person your mentee seeks out for information, guidance or encouragement.

The college process is rapidly changing and many first-generation college students, especially undocumented students, may not get timely and accurate information to…

Quinton Lampkin

Founder of Scholar Navigator, LLC — an education consultancy focused on getting students ‘to and through’ college.

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